Juneau-Douglas girls earn 6th straight win over Soldotna

The Juneau-Douglas girls basketball team used a strong first and four quarter to beat visiting Soldotna 51-36 Saturday night.

Kendyl Carson finished with 19 points, including 9 from 3 pointers. Sophomore Caitlyn Pusich had 10 points.

The Crimson Bears (12-3, 4-0 Southeast) shot out to a 12-2 lead in the first quarter. The Stars were met with intense defense up and down the court by Juneau’s agile guards, turning the ball over seven times in the first quarter.

Three quarters later, guards Kendyl Carson and Caitlin Pusich spurred a 14-0 run to put away the steadfast Stars.

Soldotna relied heavily on the passing and post play of sisters’ Aliann and Danica Schmidt. The duo combined for 20 points in the losing effort.

“I thought a lot of their points were scored off of our errors,” said Soldotna guard Danica Schmidt. “If we can correct that in the future, we can beat teams like that. … If we can learn to contain players like [Carson], we’ll do a lot better this season.”

Despite leading by 9 at half, the Crimson Bears were not able to run away with the game.

The Stars outscored the Crimson Bears 10-9 in the third quarter. Juneau-Douglas scaled back its full-court press, which allowed Soldotna to execute its half-court offense.

“We’re struggling with some sickness and we ran out of gas,” said JDHS head coach Lesslie Knight said of the decision not to apply full-court pressure throughout the game. “And then once we start subbing in our bench, we’re not as big and fast.”

Aliann Schmidt made both her free throws with 7:23 remaining in the game that made it 34-28.

After a missed Pusich 3-pointer, Aliann made her 3-point attempt and Soldotna pulled within 3. Then the Crimson Bears offense clicked into gear once more, putting the game out of reach.

Knight says her team likes to put up points in a hurry, but needs to recognize when to slow the pace down.

“We rely pretty heavily on Kendyl and its just a matter of recognizing when to pull it back out and to be patient,” said Knight. “She runs a fast break well and she just has to be under control when she’s doing it.”

Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nolin.ainsworth@juneauempire.com.

More in Sports

Juneau's high school football team finished the regular season 8-0 (7-0 in conference) after hanging on to win a 19-14 nail-biter against Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Huskies finish regular season undefeated

Huskies hang on — but not without last-minute drama.

Wendy Vuille poses with skater Brendyn Hatfield at the Arizona Adult Skating Camp. (Courtesy Photo / Wendy Vuille)
Better skate than never: Over a decade of hard work nets Juneau woman rare honor

Over a decade of hard work nets Juneau woman rare honor

A total of 145 boys from 10 Southeast Alaska high schools dash out from the starting line at the Capital City Invite at A Káx Yaa Andagan Yé (Sandy Beach) on Saturday morning. The 5K race for boys’ and girls’ teams was the region’s largest cross-country race of the season, and final regular season competition before the regional championship in Sitka this weekend. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Many merry after massive muddy meet

Juneau’s cross-country runners and coaches in sunny spirits about chances going into championships

TMHS’ Ashlyn Gates and JDHS’ Mila Hargrave both reach for the ball during the second set of a cross-town volleyball match held at JDHS on Friday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
TMHS wins two cross-town matches

TMHS wins two cross-town matches

A Lucas White (21) block buys Jarrell Williams (1) more room to work during a 49-32 win against Service High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Juneau cooks up a conference title

Huskies are back-to-back Cook Inlet Conference champs after lopsided win.

Senior Moana Tuviafale of Thunder Mountain High School (far right) was named to the all-tournament team at this year’s Spiktacular tournament this weekend at West Anchorage High School. From left to right, other players in photo are Hayden Inman of Chugiak High School, Liyah Pilgrim of Colony High School and Marija Wunnicke of South High School. (Courtesy Photo / Julie Herman)
TMHS takes 3rd at Spiketacular tournament

The Falcons are ranked 3rd in the state

Jarrell Williams, who scored five TDs against South Anchorage to help Juneau maintain an undefeated record, looks over the line of scrimmage in an Aug. 27 game against West Anchorage High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
5 TD’s power Juneau’s 6th win

Juneau football still undefeated on the season.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
From left to right, Liz Perry, president and CEO of Travel Juneau; SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium project manager Sierra Gadaire; High Cadence Triathlon team coach Jamie Bursell; and City and Borough of Juneau Finance Director Jeff Rogers met at Juneau Moose Family Center on Thursday afternoon to share a recap of the Ironman Alaska to a full crowd of members of the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce who joined in at the luncheon.
2023 vision: Officials look at the future of Ironman Alaska

They reviewed what went well and what could change for next time.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire
Two-time national champion and Olympic bronze medalist Gracie Gold talks with the Juneau Empire ahead of her upcoming free speech at Juneau-Douglas High School on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m.
Olympian takes time to talk mental health

Bronze medalist, 2-time champ to speak Saturday.

Jarrell Williams (1) and Thomas Baxter (84) celebrate a big play on defense early in Juneau's win over the visiting West Valley Rams. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Huskies get the Rams’ goat under Friday night lights

Juneau remains undefeated on the season.

FILE - Lance Mackey sits with his lead dogs Larry, right, and Maple after crossing the finish line of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 18, 2009, in Nome, Alaska, to win his third Iditarod in a row. Mackey, a four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race winner and one of mushing’s most colorful and accomplished champions who also suffered from health and drug issues, died Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, his father and kennel announced on Facebook. He was 52. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
Cancer claims 4-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey

Officials with the world’s most famous sled dog race said Iditarod Nation was in mourning.